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Minister praises Cork and Kerry enhanced services for older people

 Minister Stephen Donnelly with a child and a woman holding an accordion musical instrument.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly recently visited Cork and Kerry to review progress on key projects. In Kerry, he reviewed progress on the new 130-bed Community Nursing Unit (CNU) in Killarney and he also visited Castleisland Primary Care Centre. He paid a further courtesy visit to St Columbanus Community Hospital.

According to Breda Delves, Director of Nursing at St Columbanus Community Hospital, the new Killarney Community Nursing Unit is a “very significant project for Killarney and the surrounding areas. It will give future residents a very high standard of comfortable, single-room accommodation, matching the high standard of care provided by staff.”

Breda added that both residents and staff were “excited about the development of the new unit."

"Staff are looking forward to the move to a modern new building. For our residents, it is a move to a more comfortable, modern home which affords them the privacy and dignity that they deserve. All residents will have single en suite rooms and we will also have a 30-bed dementia unit. This new development will allow us to continue to provide the highest quality of care for older people in the region,” she said.

Delivering services closer to home

The Minister noted that through “primary care centres like Castleisland, and along with our Enhanced Community Care Programme, we will deliver more and more services closer to where people live, by enhancing and increasing community health services."

According to Miriam O’Sullivan, HSE Enhanced Community Care Network Manager, staff locally are “proud of the work done so far. This is part of the transformation of our health service. We want to support and promote the health and wellbeing of the local population by making people’s first point of contact with HSE services easily accessible and integrated with local GPs and other healthcare providers.”

Minister Donnelly also cut the ribbon on the 32,000 square foot Bantry Primary Care Centre, which is home to 18 medical and healthcare services and two GP practices. Over 500 appointments take place there each week.  The Minister also officially opened the 23,000 square foot Clonakilty Primary Care Centre on Clarke St, home to 16 medical and healthcare services, with over 500 appointments per week.

A great day for the people of West Cork

Priscilla Lynch, Head of Primary Care for HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, noted that the particular area involved in West Cork was “a large geographic area of 59,444 people. We want everyone living here - no matter how remotely - to be able to access all the care and support they need under one roof.”

Dr Emer Shanley, Network Manager for primary care services in the region, noted that it was a “great day for the people of West Cork, and for the staff in both Bantry and Clonakilty Primary Care Centres who work so hard together to deliver a top-class service, day in and day out.”

Minister Donnelly also visited Clonakilty Community Hospital, where he met staff and residents and viewed a recently completed 20-bed extension. The new €5 million extension commenced in February 2020 and it was completed at the end of 2022.